==> Be prepared: This always happens out of the blue:
It can happen to you or a family member any day!
What to Do When You Meet a Dangerous Dog
This has happened to me quite a few times already, and maybe to you too: You are walking along (after work, after shopping, to a bus, train station, whatever), and suddenly a potentially dangerous dog holds you up!
(S)he may be snarling, or (s)he may not - but you feel that something isn't right with that dog, at that moment. If that dog is big (GSD and up), loose (no owner anywhere) and snarling, the least you will get is goosebumps, right?
So, let's address these situations TODAY. This will be a short Periodical, but not so short that I just say...
R U N!
Hopefully, this Periodical will partially remind you of What to do when we come across a roaming dog that you saw within the subject of Dog Bite Prevention! However, TODAY our focus is not limited to dog bite prevention but our focus is much broader: How to avert potential aggression of another dog - a dog that is not our own dog.
Potential aggression? The dog may display outright aggression, or (s)he may not, but nonetheless appear potentially dangerous. You got that feeling, you know?
Remember that How to avoid aggression of our own dog we just had in the prior MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL How to prevent dog aggression - hence why today's topic is the logical add-on! When you have followed the prior Periodical's advice how to calm and balance your own dog, now you need to know how to calm and balance another dog.
So what's the difference?
The key difference is that you can't address the cause of another dog's aggression!
- You can't roll back its upbringing (missed socialization?, traumatization?)
- You can't roll back its owner's 'training' approach (used punishment?, used intimidation?, used pure Obedience Training?)
- And you can't roll back its lack of exercise and permanent high stress level! - This is probably the very reason why the dog in front of you is potentially dangerous.
Ie with another dog that is not your own dog, the only thing you can do is: to control the current situation, in the best way! Differences clear?
How to spot a potentially dangerous dog
The first critical point of course is: to spot that kind of dog! We need to be able to notice that the particular dog could pose a risk.
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!
Some people would now counter: "Any dog can pose a risk!!" - Well, yes but then also any person can pose a risk! You simply don't know who is a robber, a murderer, a terrorist - until something happens. But like a police officer gets some training to spot which person is more likely to turn into a troublemaker, here we get some training to spot which dog is more likely to pose a risk. Okay?
Instead of looking at the last text message received on your phone(!), when another dog approaches you, consciously look:
- The dog is snarling. Hurray, a no-brainer!
- The dog stands still, very stiff, tail above horizontal (see What the tail tells us)
- Or you notice some of the other forms of dog body language that indicate potential dog aggression (focus on the dog stress signals)
Other than calling 911 or running away like the boys above... these are our general options: 2 * 3 * 3 =
- Distract the dog (divert attention)
- Calm the dog (lower its energy level)
And for each of these:
- with visual object
- with sound
- with smell and taste
So, let's briefly go through these general options.
How to divert attention of a potentially dangerous dog
Here again we have three options:
- You have something that can distract the dog
- You wait for something in the environment that can distract the dog
- You find something in the environment that you can use to distract the dog
Remember, in general each of these can be a visual object, sound, or smell and taste.
You have something that can distract the dog
If the dog is a retriever dog (most common examples: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever) or maybe trained to retrieve toys or other items, you have a good chance to divert the dog's attention by throwing away an attractive item, hence this should be your first attempt. But note these points:
- Choose an item that you don't value high, like your wallet!
- Now seriously, ideally choose an item that is bright yellow or bright blue or both (you may take such item with you extra for this purpose)
- Before you throw the item away, make it attractive to the dog!
- Throw the item in a way that it is visible to the dog during the flight!
- And make sure the item lands neither too close nor too far away, and where it is visible when landed!
So, how do you make the item attractive to the dog before you throw it?
Jonathan: "Thank you for your period advice. It is excellent! My GSD puppy is now 8 months and we read your advice regularly."
Dwayne: "I love this site and the info you post onto it. Thanks again!!!!"
Penny: "Thanks for making your great articles available to all of us. it's nice to know that a recommended product is actually available in my country."
Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
If you are ever unhappy with anything we write, do or don't do, we want to be the first to know, thanks.
Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
© MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - All content is protected. You must not copy or spin or otherwise change our content to republish it in your name, another one's name or without a name. If you wish to make use of our Intellectual Property Rights contact MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG. Thank you.